WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08) released the following statement after his bipartisan bill, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38), passed the House Judiciary Committee:
“My bill is a simple, common sense solution to the confusing hodgepodge of concealed carry reciprocity agreements between states. It will affirm that law-abiding citizens who are qualified to carry concealed in one state can also carry in other states that allow residents to do so. I am pleased to see such strong support in committee, and I look forward to continuing this momentum and bringing the bill to the House floor as soon as possible.”
Today, H.R. 38 was reported favorably to the House by the House Judiciary Committee. This bill is one of the most important pro-Second Amendment measures in Congress, with some supporters saying it would be one of the greatest legislative advancements of our Second Amendment rights in history.
Currently, the patchwork of reciprocity laws and agreements between states is confusing and has caused law-abiding citizens like Shaneen Allen to unwittingly break the law and suffer arrest and detention. Even the most careful and knowledgeable concealed carry permit holders find it difficult to navigate the current maze of state and local concealed carry laws. H.R. 38 is a common sense solution. The bill, which is supported by major pro-Second Amendment groups and has 213 cosponsors, would allow law-abiding citizens with a state-issued concealed carry license or permit to conceal a handgun in any other state that allows concealed carry. It would also allow law-abiding residents of Constitutional carry states the ability to carry in other states that recognize their own residents’ right to concealed carry.
H.R. 38 would allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed only if they are not federally prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm, are carrying a valid government-issued photo ID, and are lawfully licensed or otherwise entitled to carry a concealed handgun. Each person would have to follow the laws of the state, county and municipality in which they are carrying concealed.
In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court ruled that “the inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right,” which is “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” This fundamental right does not stop at a state’s borders and law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise this right when crossing state lines. In addition, Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution states, “Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.” This is the clause that allows a driver’s license to be recognized across state lines.
Contrary to the misinformation critics spread, under H.R. 38, states would retain their authority to enact time and place restrictions on where people can lawfully carry in the state. In addition, the bill would not make it any easier to buy a gun. It has nothing to do with the purchase of guns, it would not alter access to guns, and it would not change the federal law requiring background checks.
Critics are also wrong that H.R. 38 would arm criminals. If someone is prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm, nothing in this bill would allow that person to purchase or possess a firearm, let alone carry one in a concealed fashion. That is illegal and will remain illegal under H.R. 38. As a matter of fact, there is a specific provision in H.R. 38 that excludes any individual who is prohibited by federal law from “possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm.” According to the ATF, the Gun Control Act (GCA), codified at 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), makes it unlawful for certain categories of persons to ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms or ammunition, to include any person:
- convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
- who is a fugitive from justice;
- who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 802);
- who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution;
- who is an illegal alien;
- who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
- who has renounced his or her United States citizenship;
- who is subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner; or
- who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
The American people understand these facts. That’s why an overwhelming majority of Americans support concealed carry reciprocity – 73% according to a recent New York Times survey.